The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by digitalisation, the drive to reduce costs and maximise production, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning. In the last three years alone, there have been over 534,000 patents filed and granted in the oil & gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial Intelligence in Oil & Gas: AI assisted CAD. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 256,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the oil & gas industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

AI-assisted CAD is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

AI has a role in CAM as well as CAD. For instance, SolidWorks CAM automatically generates a part’s manufacturing toolpath after design. CAM software uses the CAD models to generate the toolpaths that drive computer numerically controlled manufacturing machines.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted CAD.

Key players in AI-assisted CAD – a disruptive innovation in the oil & gas industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to AI-assisted CAD

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Halliburton 157 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 127 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 107 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 102 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 38 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 24 Unlock Company Profile
Fanuc 24 Unlock Company Profile
Baker Hughes 20 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 19 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 18 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 17 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 16 Unlock Company Profile
Chevron U. S. A 15 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 13 Unlock Company Profile
BP 12 Unlock Company Profile
China National Petroleum 11 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 10 Unlock Company Profile
Formosa Plastics Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kurita Water Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Energy 10 Unlock Company Profile
Rockwell Automation 9 Unlock Company Profile
Showa Denko 7 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 7 Unlock Company Profile
China Petrochemical 7 Unlock Company Profile
TechnipFMC 6 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 6 Unlock Company Profile
Ebara 6 Unlock Company Profile
Eni 6 Unlock Company Profile
Altro 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
3M 5 Unlock Company Profile
OTI Lumionics 5 Unlock Company Profile
AMETEK 5 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading patent filers in AI-assisted CAD include Siemens, which introduced one of the first AI-driven CAD sketching technologies known as NX™ Sketch. It helps companies to improve productivity and flexibility through sketching in a 3D environment. The tool is part of the Siemens' Xcelerator portfolio, which provides increased levels of automation, opportunities, and insights to companies through digital twins.

With the drive to continue to improve productivity, reliability and safety, more and more companies are expected to use AI-assisted CAD over the coming years. Innovations in the technology help companies to optimise the design process and remove discrepancies.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on AI in Oil & Gas.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.